Radoslav Putar
Picelj
1957

Constructing sequences of colors, quiet like whiteness; silencing voices that appear in their darkness; lifting and laying the outlines of shapes; stopping the fall of the grey, watching the growth of the black; clearing up the white. So long until the construction is finished, becoming like the inside of the crystal and in its clean space the encounters of contours are like touching fingertips and the time presents itself like the spiral of a vortex. Seek for the unheard of, measure steps with clear thoughts and subdue the origin of emotions so that only those who have it in themselves can hear it; preserve the entire beauty seen in dreams, divest the inkling and make peace with sister truth. Look peacefully into your light. Move towards it, while from the other roadside they throw the stones of laughter, some put the seed of misunderstanding on the road and catch your light into their mirror, while in you doubt sprouts at the spot you have forgotten for a moment and night grows into winter, and day blossoms into summer. Will not the glass of your visions burst from so many changes?

I read in your pictures: the essence of content in them in one instance widens, opens and its symbols seem to pour over the margins of the frame in the desire to touch something outside of the picture and strike roots. In a different picture they turn away from emptiness that surrounds them and lurks, while they gather around their invisible core, close in and sink into themselves. I understand: this is the pulse of your time — day night, day night, summer, winter. Moreover: from some frames something watches me, observes me, examines me as if it will wave to me; in other ones it passes, goes away without casting a single glance at me. It does not need me. It does not need anyone. In some of them I can see a merry play, in others a silent, unspoken desire. For some I foresee a long life in others wakes death. No, no, do not applaud or laugh. You! The others. There is no drama here. He is not standing on a stage and not playing anything. He is not standing on cothurni and is not cloaked. He is not wearing a crown of a professional dreamer. He walks on the ground of everyday we all walk on; he is looking at the world from the level of us all, ordinary people. He has only one big flaw: when he approaches the white innocence of the canvas, the “world changer” in him awakens. But this world is real and earthly and there really are spots in it that can and should be repaired. If he often cannot do this and if he does not always manage to do so — it is not only his fault. Because of this, large pictures sometimes become small and the view of them is not like a view of some building’s façade or into the depth of a large hall, but like the one of a book page. We would like them to be plants from a glasshouse, which once someone will take away and plant into the sun of a large garden, where they will grow, change their countenance and turn their faces to the light of free space. Should the artist not get tired and stop half way, they will bear fruit. I believe and I am able to know: the path you are walking is neither easy nor even. Maybe you can trust me, and I know you can, that the greatest dangers are not in the objects we touch, but in ourselves, behind the back of our own awareness. We should not be afraid of our opponent’s fierce words or the ice of the emptiness before us. Neither the poisons of beggars’ defamations, who drag bags of museum dust behind them, collected from the treasures of the legacy of the greats, are deadly. Nor is loneliness always deadly. In it we can very well hear the echo of the lie of the lament about the end of the world and “good old times”. All this can be turned to good with the alchemy of art. And if judgment today will not be full and just, then we shall quietly put our small stone for building the future in the place we find for it and wait for that old man who is still wandering through the world, whom they used to depict as a figure with long, grey beard and a hourglass in his hand. He will say his word tomorrow. He might even withdraw it once, but he will make it valid again. For sure.

Foreword to
the Picelj Print Portfolio
1957